Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cozy Mystery Blog Tour: Author Guest Post, Review & Giveaway: The Cat, The Vagabond and The Victim (A Cats In Trouble Mystery #6) by Leann Sweeney

Heir of the cat...

When Clyde the cat travels two hundred miles back home only to find his former owner dead, the story makes national news. While everyone seems eager to tell Clyde’s incredible tale, someone needs to step up to care for him. Because the media attention is creating chaos at the local shelter, cat quilter Jillian Hart agrees to foster the loyal orange tabby, hoping his location is kept secret.

But while the media circus around Clyde continues, Jillian learns the real story behind his owner’s death—he was murdered. Why would an eldery man already dying from a serious illness become a murder victim? As the local police search for an answer, Clyde makes another escape. Jillian is drawn into the case when she finds Clyde has returned to his home again—and he’s found another body. When the motive behind these murders is finally revealed, Jillian understands Clyde is in danger of becoming the next victim, and she must help find the killer before the claws really come out. 

Thanks to Marie for inviting me to blog today!  I am particularly thrilled to bring Clyde, a big orange tabby with a perpetual smile, to life.  He has become one of my favorite cat characters.  Not to say I don't love my heroine Jillian Hart's three permanent residents in South Carolina home a whole bunch.  They are Merlot, a giant red Maine coon, Chablis, a sable point Himalayan and Syrah, a sorrel ticked Abyssinian.  All three were Katrina rescues.  

In each book I try to highlight not only the mystery, but the mutual love between felines and the humans they own.  Yes, "dogs have owners, cats have staff."  That is why they are so fun to write.  I have had cats my entire adult life, rescued many, tube fed a couple of litters so they would survive and watched many cross over the Rainbow Bridge.  Pet owners know about the Bridge, where beloved companions await their owners, and where they are healthy again and running free.  

So, my own cats were inspirational in creating believable cat characters who simply do what cats do.  They don't walk to think, though Jillian is quick to "interpret" their thoughts.  I believe I do that with my town two - Wexford and Marlowe.  I guess that means I am constantly writing dialogue!  I also love cat trivia and my books are loaded with interesting cat facts.  (And no, they don't always land on their feet!  They are just amazingly agile.)  

This book was also inspired by a multitude of news stories about cats (and dogs - I do love dogs, too!) traveling hundreds of miles to get back to their owners.  There's a bit of trivia I learned when researching my books that explains this phenomenon.  Cats have the equivalent of GPS in their brains, and thus they often can get to where they want to be even if it takes them a long time. (I sure wish I had GPS in my brain.)  Although the story starts out with difficulties for Clyde, the orange tabby, I believe in happy endings.  And just so you know, no animals are ever seriously harmed in my stories.  I cannot write books that might make people cringe.  I'll leave that to (the brilliant) Stephen King! 

Leann Sweeney was born and raised in Niagra Falls and educated at St. Joseph's Hospital and Lemoyne College in Syracuse, NY.  She also has a degree from the University of Houston in behavioral science and worked for many years in psychiatry and as a school nurse; she now writes full time.  

She began crafting fiction in 1980, fulfilling her lifelong dream.  After perfecting her skills with classes and a small fortune in writing books, she joined MWA and Sisters in Crime.  Now she's the creator of two NAL/Obsidian mystery series: The Yellow Rose Mysteries and the Cats in Trouble Mysteries.  The Cat, The Quilt and the Corpse, first the the Cats in Trouble Mysteries was the #1 bestseller on the Independent Mystery Bookseller's List when it debuted and made several top twenty lists for 2009 at bookstores across the country.  Since then, The Cat, The Lady and The Liar and The Cat, The Wife and the Weapon climbed all the way to the NY Times bestseller list for mass market paperbacks.  

Leann is married with two fabulous grown children, a wonderful son-in-law and a beautiful daughter-in-law - not to mention three amazing granddaughters.  She lived in Texas from 1974-2012, and now lives in South Carolina with husband Mike, her two cats Wexford and Marlowe, and Rosie - the smart, retrieving, golf-ball chasing, busy-busy-busy mini-Labradoodle.  

The Cats in Trouble Mystery series is fun and entertaining with unique characters and cats that will make you laugh out loud.  In The Cat, The Vagabond and The Victim, all of my favorites return to give us a clue-based mystery that takes you in one direction, only to shock you when the truth comes out!  It's exciting, fast-paced and very well written.  

I love Jillian, and her overwhelming compassion and sincere kindness reflects that of the author, Leann Sweeney.  (Leann is truly one of the kindest authors I've ever come across.  She's a genuinely nice person, and if you're ever given the chance to chat with her, even for a brief moment, you'll love her personality too!)  

If you're new to the cozy world, looking for a new series, or you're already a fan, you'll enjoy this book and series immensely.  

Rating: 5 stars 

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  All conclusions reached are my own.  

Thanks to the awesome ladies at Penguin, I have 1 paperback copy of The Cat, The Vagabond and The Victim by Leann Sweeney to give away to one of my lucky readers!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win, and be sure to keep checking back for more awesome giveaways!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Leann Sweeney said...

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, today, Marie. I didn't know the post was up so I shared the link on my facebook page today! You're the best!

dj said...

I loved the other books in this series, and I can't wait to read the new one!

Einsam said...

Leann Sweeney's Cats In Trouble Series are extremely hard to put down. She simply gets you hooked right from the start. My wife and I have read all the books in the series and each one keeps getting better.

I can't wait to read this one.

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